dancing horses

dancing horses

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Data Keeping

If you follow my blog at all you know that I have definite geek tendencies. So it's probably no surprise that I decided to start collecting data to see if there really is a pattern to Carmen's moods and behaviour.

I decided to keep it simple and use a basic 5 point likert scale to capture her level of 'spookiness'.

1. Very Calm (Parade horse - aint scared of nothin')
2. Fairly Calm (hacking horse- spook at very spooky things, like wolves and helicopters))
3. Neutral (some spooks but easily brought back to work)
4. Somewhat spooky (easily distracted and reactive to blowing leaves)
5. Very Spooky (hang onto your hat because we're getting the hell out of dodge)

My ride on thursday would be a 5. The next day would have been a 4. Both days she was in heat.

On Monday I rode again and Cynthia joined me. The conditions were very similar to Thursday, except that she didn't seem to be in heat. When I went to mount and put my foot in the stirrup she took a step forward.

Whoa I said. At this she took a very careful step backwards and stood still.

Sorry. I got a bit ahead of myself. 

Our ride after that was pretty good. I gave it a 3. She was a bit spooky here and there but I was able to  get her back to work. We worked through some stickiness and some steering. We were able to use a large chunk of the ring. We worked on rein changes, bends and transitions. On our first canter depart to the right she gave a buck but picked it up nicely. I let it go and rode it forward.
Me: Not the best transition. We should try again. 
Cynthia: yes, it was a much up as forward. 
Carmen:  that was self expression. Besides, you surprised me. 

I brought her back to trot and then asked again, making sure that I was steady in the saddle and she was prepared. She picked it right up, nice as you please. We carried on for a circle and then we picked up a trot. We finished by walking out of the ring and down to the barn.

Today I rode her again. This time we were alone. Again, she was a 3. We had good moments and bad moments. Spooky moments and calm moments. Overall the good outweighed the bad. Again she did not seem to be in heat. After she seemed quite pleased with herself.

On my way home from work I stopped and picked up a mare supplement.
I added it to her supper and she gobbled it up. I hope that it helps her through her PMS (Pissy Mare Syndrome). I will continue to collect data and see if it helps.

Who are you calling PMS?


  1. I tried to leave a comment the other day, but I'm having computer troubles...try again. I had wondered of you have ever tried chaste tree berry powder? I have had excellent results with it and I buy bulk powder for about $6 a pound from herbnhorse.com. It help Emma enormously.

  2. We just had a conversation with the vet about getting injections or surgery for Shasta to deal with her PMS. It's not actually a problem riding, but she's so busy trying to kill all the horses near her that she's not healing from her injury. About half of the vet's options (pasture for a few months or stall rest) got eliminated because her bitchiness would prohibit them.

    We've tried all the over-the-counter solutions and none of them had any effect. Mares are seriously so much more work than geldings.


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love the feedback.